Oral Cancer Screening

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral Cancer is one of the least understood conditions amongst the general public and yet, each day at least three Australians are being diagnosed with it.

One of the most alarming facts about oral cancer is that it can affect anyone. While there are certain lifestyle choices that definitely increase the chance of developing it, there are a number of other causes that we have less control over.

Causes of Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Sexually transmitted virus
  • Sun exposure
  • Smoking

Symptoms of oral cancer

  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • An ulcer or sore that does not heal and/or bleeds easily
  • Blood blister
  • Hard spot or a lump (may or may not be painful)
  • Numbness in any part of the mouth
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pain when chewing or swallowing
  • Changes in your speech
  • Sore gums
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Altered taste

Detection

Oral cancer can be easily diagnosed, however the death rate from this type of cancer is high because it is often caught or diagnosed at a late stage and generally when it has metastasised to the lymph nodes and other facial regions. For further information please refer to Oral Cancer Facts.

Checking for signs of oral cancer is also a part of your dentist’s regular check-up procedure. It is advised that you have a six month check-up and clean for the dentist to be able to assess your mouth and check for any abnormalities, on a regular basis so if there are any abnormalities they be assessed and caught in an early stage.

 

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